Live Nation Labs is experiencing a big shakeup. Top executives Eric Garland and Ethan Kaplan have exited the company’s three-year-old digital innovation division, and signs are pointing towards a larger restructuring within the unit. The news was first reported by Hypebot.
Live Nation Labs was launched in late 2011 following the acquisition of media measurement start-up BigChampagne, co-founded by Garland and Joe Fleischer. Kaplan, previously of Warner Music Group, was one of their first hires. According to the report, Fleisher will remain at Live Nation while the bulk of the Labs staff is moving to the Ticketmaster division and other parts of the company.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells Billboard that Garland and Kaplan exited Live Nation sometime in December — the pair’s contracts were up, and were not renewed. As well, the source tells Billboard that Big Champagne’s purchase price was $12 million, not the $30 million reported elsewhere.
Live Nation did not respond to a request for comment at press time.
In 2013, Garland spoke with Billboard about his goals for Labs. “The thesis for us is the experience of being a fan of live entertainment is not really good for simple reasons,” he said in a convo from SXSW. “There are some easy opportunities to make being a fan of live entertainment suck less. Using the tools that I’ve been handed — which are web, mobile and our incubator, our disruptive laboratory — I’m just trying to incrementally improve that experience in easy ways. The big idea is fix the small stuff.”